Elephant House 11 June 2008

An elephant house designed by Foster & Partners was unveiled yesterday at Copenhagen Zoo. The architecture giant’s first building for animals, the house apparently boasts the latest zoological standards in terms of the elephants’ well-being.

icon 061 out now 10 June 2008

Things get ugly in the July issue of icon, which is out now. We look at the designers who are breaking free of the straitjacket of beauty and creating work that’s ugly – in a good way.
Carsten Holler, Ai Weiwei, Michael Craig-Martin, Tom Dixon and Zaha Hadid are among the artists and designers who have created works for Artists’ Playground, an exhibition in the grounds of Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire.
The simple act of walking up and down the vast nave of Paris’ Grand Palais was how American artist Richard Serra found inspiration for his latest work, Promenade.

Fabrico Próprio 08 June 2008

Fabrico Próprio is Portuguese for “made properly”, and it’s what cafes in Portugal hang in their window if their cakes are made on the premises. It’s also the name of a new book by Frederico Duarte, Rita João and Pedro Ferreira celebrating the neglected art of Portuguese confectionery, which it treats as a semi-industrial design product.
A mountainous plastic white tent scars the still grey Exmoor coastline, with the word “BUTLINS” emblazoned on the outside in a cheery red and yellow font.
Brad Pitt popped into Design Miami/Basel – the Swiss edition of the collectors fair that takes place annually in Florida – to do a spot of shopping earlier this week. Among the pieces on offer was work by Dutch practice Studio Makkink & Bey, London-based designer Julia Lohmann and Swiss design school École cantonale d’art de Lausanne.

Ordos 100 04 June 2008

Six months ago, 100 young architects, many of them without a building to their name, received an invitation to design a 1,000sq m villa in a desert region of inner Mongolia. The architects had 100 days to produce a scheme and present their designs to the client, Cai Jiang, and the curator of the project, Chinese artist and architect Ai Weiwei.
“This is probably one of the worst sites you can possibly imagine to build a care centre in!” laughs Richard Rogers, referring to the first Maggie’s Centre in England, which was designed by Rogers Harbour Stirk + Partners and opened in May.
London-based Block Architecture has designed a 95ft pylon to promote the Climate Change Festival in Birmingham town centre. The polished nickel-plated structure literally reflects the issue of energy consumption.
What used to be the future is now a branch of the nostalgia industry. “We used to have one of those!” gush excited adult visitors to the Reinventing the Home section of the Science Museum’s Dan Dare exhibition, captivated by the Goblin Teasmaids and Pye televisions on display.
The stairs, bedrooms, restaurant and lobby areas of boutique hotel The Andaz were host to a series of installations by the Royal College of Art’s Platform 10 design students earlier this month.
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